Here's your first look at the new Nissan Qashqai
It may still be wearing a coat of camouflage, but this important new SUV is clearly right around the corner.
The upcoming third-generation Nissan Qashqai is in the final stages of testing ahead of it being officially unveiled in the Northern Hemisphere's spring next year.
With over three million units sold in Europe since the model's introduction in 2007 and over five million sold globally, the Qashqai has positioned itself not only as one of the pioneers of the medium-crossover segment but as one of the benchmarks, too.
And so, with this new model that's set to be based on the all-new Alliance CMF-C platform, Nissan is "going to change what customers can expect from a family car," in the words of Nissan AMIEO Region Chairman Gianluca de Ficchy, while still retaining the guiding principles of the previous two iterations of the model – those being elegant design, enhanced packaging, and and efficient powertrain, along with elevated quality and a driving experience from a higher segment.
The first model in Europe to be based on this new platform, it will see the use of Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS) in the structure of the new Qashqai increased by 50 percent to ensure the highest possible tensile strength without a significant weight penalty.
The body of the new model will utilise more lightweight materials, too, including a composite boot lid that saves 2.6kg alone, and aluminium doors, bonnet, and front quarter panels to save a further 21kg. In total, the third-gen model is set to be 60kg lighter and 41 percent stiffer than the model it replaces.
An updated MacPherson strut suspension setup at the front comes courtesy of the new platform, too, while at the back, front-wheel drive models with wheels up to 19-inches in diameter will feature torsion beam rear suspension, while all-wheel drive models and all models with 20-inch wheels will come with multi-link independent rear suspension instead.
To fit with Nissan's wider electrification strategy moving forwards, the new Qashqai is set to offer two powertrain solutions, the most conventional of which is an extensively updated version of the current 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine that now features a 12V mild hybrid system which is set to be offered in two states of tune.
However, the Qashqai is also set to be offered with Nissan's e-POWER system which drives the wheels with an electric motor powered by a battery pack, while a petrol engine is present solely to act as a generator which keeps the battery pack charged up, with it never powering the wheels directly. As such, this system allows for EV performance and driving characteristics without the range anxiety.
While Nissan has noted that these powertrain options are set to feature, the company is remaining tight-lipped on the specifics of both setups though, such as when it comes to performance figures and fuel consumption claims.
On the tech front, the new Qashqai is also set to feature the latest version of Nissan's ProPILOT with Navi-link driver assistance system, which combines both adaptive cruise control and lane-centring technology. The new system will also be able to read speed limit signs and immediately adapt the vehicles speed to comply with a change in the posted limit.
A clearly UK-centric design, the third-gen Qashqai, like its forebears, has been designed at Nissan's European design centre in London, while the engineering was led by its European Technical Centre in Bedfordshire, and construction will take place at the company's plant in Sunderland.
While when it launched in 2007 it was essentially the sole one of its kind, the Qashqai now faces stiff competition from 26 other models in what is one of the biggest and fastest-growing market segments – however, Nissan feels confident it will be able to take on the competition it now faces due to its expertise in this field.
“With the unmatched experience, expertise and customer relationships we’ve formed since the first Qashqai was introduced, Nissan is in a unique position to reinforce our status as Europe’s favourite crossover with the all-new Qashqai," said Marco Fioravanti, Vice President of Product Planning for Nissan Europe.
Further details and specifics – including an exact date as to when it will go on sale – are set to be announced closer to its launch in spring 2021.